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American Foreign Service Association (AFSA)

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) offers two scholarship programs that are open to students whose parents are, or were, Foreign Service employees and AFSA members. AFSA offers need-based Financial Aid Scholarships to high school seniors or full-time undergraduate college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. AFSA also offers Academic, Art, and Community Service Merit Awards to high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in any or all of these three areas. The winners in each category are awarded a total of $3,500, honorable mentions receive a total of $2,000, and $1,000 is awarded to the applicant with the best essay.

For more information on either of these scholarship programs, including eligibility criteria, application requirements, and past winners, please visit AFSA’s Scholarships pageApplications for the 2023 scholarship program opened on December 5, 2022, and the deadline to apply is April 3, 2023. For a detailed summary of these two programs visit AFSA’s Summary of Programs page.

AFSA also holds an annual National High School Essay Contest for high school students who do not come from a Foreign Service family, but who nevertheless demonstrate an interest in diplomacy and foreign policy. Each year, AFSA develops an essay prompt to engage students with a topic relating to American diplomacy, peacebuilding, and development. The winner of the essay contest receives $2,500, a full tuition of Semester at Sea, and will be able to meet with a member of the State Department’s leadership. The runner-up receives $1,250 and a paid summer program with the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington DC.

Visit AFSA’s National High School Essay Contest page for more information, including this year’s winning essay.

Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW)

AAFSW offers yearly scholarships to family members of AAFSW members. Applications are accepted in early spring with a deadline on/around March 31st and scholarships awarded by April 15.

Application forms are available early in the application year and are announced in AAFSW’s Global Link newsletter and on the organization’s website and Facebook pages.

  • AAFSW’s Merit Scholarships: Current college freshmen, sophomores or juniors continuing college are eligible for this scholarship. Two scholarships are available for $2,500 each.
  • AAFSW’s Twice Exceptional Merit Scholarship: Rewards academic excellence for high school seniors and/or college students who have shown resilience and have academically overcome adversity due to special needs. The AAFSW Merit Scholarship is meant for high school seniors and/or college students who already have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a 504, or an equivalent program in place. Two scholarships are available for $2,500 each.
  • All applicants are considered for the Best Essay Scholarship: (Note: You must apply for a merit scholarship in order to be eligible for the Best Essay Scholarship) One scholarship is available for $1,000.
  • The AAFSW Judy Felt Memorial Volunteerism Scholarship: This scholarship is open to all students applying for the AAFSW Merit Scholarship for College Students and the AAFSW Twice Exceptional Merit Scholarship. Students who submit an application for the AAFSW Merit Scholarship or the Twice Exceptional Scholarship are automatically considered for the Judy Felt Scholarship. (Note: You must apply for a merit scholarship in order to be eligible for the Judy Felt Memorial Volunteerism Scholarship.) One scholarship is available for $1,000.

For more information, please contact or 703-820-5420.

Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)

In 2023, FSYF will be awarding $15,000 in total, made up of $9,000 for the contests/awards and $6,000 for scholarships.


Every year, the Foreign Service Youth Foundation organizes several contests and awards programs for Foreign Service youth of all ages. These contests offer Foreign Service youth an opportunity to share their talents and express themselves as artists, writers, videographers, and global citizens. A panel of judges representing FSYF selects the winners, and corporate sponsors provide the prize money.

They offer an Art Contest, Essay Contest, KidVid contest (in conjunction with the OBC), and Community Service Awards. The contest season typically starts in late December with applications open through March and culminates with a ceremony at the State Department in the summer for the winners!

To find out more information about their contests and specific submission deadlines for each contest, please visit their website.


Since 2010, the Foreign Service Youth Foundation has been recognizing Foreign Service high school seniors and Gap-Year dependents for their outstanding achievements through the FSYF Academic Merit Scholarship. Growing up in the Foreign Service may be exciting but it isn’t always easy. Foreign Service children face many challenges and disruptions to their lives. Overcoming those challenges and achieving academic success is admirable. FSYF celebrates the academic achievements of its youth members and supports their future academic goals by providing two academic scholarships every year.

For more information and to see this year’s winners, please visit FSYF.


Listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department State or the U.S. government of the entity, its views or the products or services it provides. The order in which names appear has no significance, and the links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.

U.S. Department of State

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